Ball joints vs CV joints. These are the differences

Ball joints and CV joints are very crucial components of a vehicle. If they are not in good shape, then you will stall. But despite being very crucial components of a car, most motorists don’t know the difference between them.

If you are one of them, then today you have landed in the right place. In this article, we will discuss in-depth the difference between ball joints and CV joints. Make sure you read until the end so that you don’t miss out on anything.

What exactly are ball joints?

Ball joints are crucial components located in the front of the suspension system of a car that forms a connection between steering knuckles and controls arms to ensure a smooth movement within the suspension.

The front suspension of a car comprises bushing, joints, links, and bearings that allow the front wheels to turn left and right together and also move up and down simultaneously.

Ball joints allow the steering knuckles to move in different directions simultaneously while at the same time ensuring that they remain intact in the car. As a result, the wheels of the car can move side to side, up and down together.

A ball joint is equipped with a metal housing, a socket that is enclosed in a well-lubricated casing, and a bearing stud that constantly moves while driving.

Ball joints in a car can be compared with the hip joint in the human body and provide pivoting movements between control arms and steering knuckles, thus allowing you to control your vehicle precisely.

What are CV joints?

Constant velocity joints popularly known as CV joints are crucial components found at the end of the drive shafts and connect the driveshaft to the wheels and transmission.

There are many types of CV joints, but the most popular ones are rzeppa CV joints which are found in front-wheel vehicles, and cardinal CV joints which are found in four-wheel drive cars and heavy trucks. However, CV joints are mostly used in front-wheel drive vehicles.

Besides playing the crucial role of holding the drive shaft safely in place, the CV joints also transfer power for the transmission to the wheel.

These crucial components ensure that your car moves when you press on the gas. If CV joints are damaged, your car may stall and cause severe damage to other components of the car. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your CV joints are always in good condition.

Outer CV joints connect the driveshaft to the wheels while the inner CV joints connect the driveshaft to the transmission. CV joints transfer torque from the transmission drive wheels at a constant speed and at the same time accommodate the up and down motion of the vehicle’s suspension.

Difference between CV joints and ball joints

From the definition of these two car components, it is evident that they are different from each other in many ways. Below is a summary of the differences between CV joints and ball joints.


CV JOINTS 

BALL JOINTS 

Are part of the front axle shaft

Are part of the front suspension

They provide power to turn the rear wheel from the transaxle

They hold the front suspension together

CV joints are mostly used in front-wheel drive vehicles

They are used by all vehicles

You will have no power to the rear wheels if your CV fails but you will have control over your car

If your ball joints fail, you will have no control over your car because the front wheels will fall off.

They connect the driveshaft to the wheels and transmission

They form a connection between steering knuckles and control arms

Similarities between CV joints and ball joints

  • They both allow the car to move smoothly
  • They both wear out over time because of the crucial role they play
  • They both damage other components of the car if they are not functioning properly

Final thoughts

CV joints and ball joints are very crucial parts of the car that play a huge role in ensuring that the vehicle runs smoothly. Therefore, you need to monitor them closely and ensure they are replaced on time when they wear out.

We hope that the information given above will help you differentiate between CV joints and ball joints. Ball joints are part of the front suspension and form a connection between steering knuckles and control arms while CV joints are part of the front axle shaft and they connect the driveshaft to the wheels and transmission.

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